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Botany Bay 19.04.2011


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Hi all

I had a bit of an “eventful” day on the Bay.

First, I caught half a dozen nice yakkas – about 10cm long – i.e. not too big. I can only keep half a dozen in my bucket. Also had a go for squid amongst the yakka boil but none around. I then paddled my kayak over to Mol. Point and tried for a kingy. When I thought I actually had a large kingy, I let my anchor rope off thinking the float would keep it up and so I could collect the anchor after fighting the fish. Unfortunately, the current pulled the float down and I was unable to relocate my anchor..

So, what was on the end of the line? Well, after a semi-decent fight (on 35lb line) I saw white in the water. I thought, could this be something exotic like a cobia? Well, I couldn’t believe my eyes when I pulled up a 1 metre hammerhead shark! And, it was actually hooked in the tail!!

So, seeing that it was hooked on the tail, rather than pulling it in the boat, I towed it around for a while as I searched for my anchor rope, to no avail. I then looked at the beast and appreciated how cute it was. I started to “feel” for it and so once I’d determined it was fit for release, I released it and it swam away. I had considered eating it, but the way it looked at me with one eye, and then the other, how could you eat such a cutie?

Anyway, I then drifted about the wall and caught a barely legal red that I took home and ate for lunch.

I returned to Mol. Point at low tide and fortunately I found my anchor rope and anchor. I then caught a few squid and headed for Watts Reef. I don’t think I actually found the reef, as the water was atleast 7 metres deep, but the anchor held and so I stayed. I burleyed up and fished with nippers and also live squid (hoping a jew would join me in my kayak as the sun went down – how romantic!). Anyway, the nipper on 4lb Schneider HANDLINE goes off! Palm burn on high rpm 5 inch handline! About 10 minutes into a very long fight with very long runs (I always like to have at least 250m on my handlines), the live squid on the 15lb handline goes off! As the 4lb handline had been fighting for a while, I let it do its own thing (and it spun wildly) while I tried the 15lb handline, but whatever was on that went to the bottom and busted me off. So, back to the 4lb handline and for probably another 15 minutes I fought it. Obviously by now I knew it must be a pelagic because of the way it went near the surface and because of the long runs. In close I saw colour and it was a lovely kingy. The nasty turd tried, of couse, to wrats around the anchor rope a few times, but it was pretty tired by now and I was able to unwind the handline around the rope. I gently brought it in close and gaffed it near the tail. I brought it in the kayak, thinking it had to be legal size, but found it was only 60cm. Also, there was a deep cut behind the big spike in the dorsal fish. It was a fresh wound and so I’d say something had a go at it during the fight – it may have been that hammer head I’d caught earlier in the day? Out for revenge? Anyway, aside from the small gaff wound I had inflicted and the dorsal wound, the fish was still full of energy and when I released it, it swam off pretty well.

I fished for about an hour into the night, but caught nothing else on either live squid or nippers.

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It was cute because it was like a miniature shark. Which is what it actually was of course.

Tell you what, it would have suited a BIG saltwater aquarium. Image seeing that thing doing circles around your tank!

On the other hand, maybe if I'd been a bit more of an entrepreneur you might have seen a small shark swimming about the lobster tank in China Town.

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